94. The Tortoise and the Guinea-Fowl (1)

“Let’s go eat apples!” said Tortoise to Guinea-Fowl, and they went to the apple-tree.
“How will we get apples?” asked Guinea-Fowl.
“Like this,” said Tortoise. He lay down and shouted, “Give me an apple!”
The tree hurled an apple on Tortoise’s back. The apple split, and Guinea-Fowl ate the apple. “Delicious!” she said.
“Now you!” commanded Tortoise.
But Guinea-Fowl was scared. “My back isn’t strong enough.”
They argued, and finally Tortoise shouted, “Give Guinea-Fowl an apple!”
The tree hurled an apple down on Guinea-Fowl’s head, killing her.
Tortoise ate the apple, and then he ate Guinea-Fowl too.
“Delicious!” he said.

[an Igbo story from southern Nigeria] 

Inspired by: Among the Ibos of Nigeria by G.T. Basden.
Notes: This is story is "Tortoise and Fowl," online at Hathi Trust. Basden doesn't say what kind of fowl this is, so I decided upon guinea-fowl. The fruit they are eating is African star-apple, although I just said apple. In the original story, both Tortoise and Guinea-Fowl divide the first apple, but I thought the story worked better if Tortoise was angry because Guinea-Fowl ate the first apple. This is just the first part of the story. Find out what happens next here: Hawk and Tortoise's Flute.

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